The Shreveport Times are reporting multiple Shreveport area hospital systems are placing staff on leave due to a lack of patients.

According to their report, Willis-Knighton Health Systems and CHRISTUS Health have both enacted furloughs and "low census leave" for staff members recently. Sending home many staff members due to a lack of patients in the hospitals. Which also means a drop in revenue for the health care systems. KEEL News has learned that some local nurses who were impacted have begun traveling to other regions to pick up work.

In "low census leave" situations, employees can used paid time off during those periods to continue to receive a paycheck.

ABC News has reported that this issue is not limited to the Shreveport and Bossier area. Hospitals across the country are being put at financial risk due to the lack of patients. Dr. Jay Bhatt, an internist in Chicago and ABC News Contributor, told ABC News:

"It is disheartening to see front-line health care workers being laid off and furloughed. I have seen my colleagues and friends who were proud to be health care workers now on the front lines of unemployment who are anxious about how this will impact themselves and their families.”

Early April models suggested that Louisiana would potentially need 12,495 hospital beds for COVID-19, and 7,204 ICU beds in the state. Those same projections suggested there could be the need for 1,662 ventilators in the state as well. Numbers that never materialized in the state.

The relaxation of surgery guidelines from the state of Louisiana will likely help hospital systems, but it's unclear if that will be able to offset the changes based on the misjudgment of needed COVID-19 beds.


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